WEST PALM BEACH – The office of Gov. Rick Scott is trying to get the word out to Floridians to support a state disaster fund, to assist the families in South Florida impacted by Tropical Storms Debby and Isaac.
As the federal government starts doing its own preliminary damage assessments, Scott announced that his office was doing what it could to promote relief efforts, including the disaster fund, on the heels of those two deadly storms.
Tropical Storm Isaac hit Southwest Florida and Collier County in the last week of August, gaining particular attention because it initially appeared to be threatening Florida’s west coast at a time when the Republicans were hosting their national convention in Tampa.
The storm did not, however, disrupt the convention. It also did not have much impact on Orlando and the rest of Central Florida, except to bring soaking rains for most of the day on Monday, Aug. 27.
But it did cause $7 million worth of damage further south around Collier County, with damage along the shoreline that turned out to be worse than expected.
On Friday, Florida’s Foundation, a non-profit agency, activated the state’s disaster fund called Neighbors to the Rescue, to assist families and homeowners affected by the two storms. Tropical Storm Debby hit in June, striking the Florida Panhandle.
Florida’s Foundation works with long-term recovery organizations within the affected communities, and ensures the money goes where it’s needed most.
In his weekly radio address on Friday, Gov. Scott noted that “Last week, Florida showed the world that we are the best state in the nation for being prepared for hurricanes and other emergencies. Because of the hard work by our state, local and federal emergency management teams, Florida was prepared for Isaac.”
Now that the storm has passed, the governor said, “We are focused on making sure that the affected areas in our state recover. We have repeatedly seen that Floridians come together in a time of need. There are many ways you can lend a hand.”
A good way to do that, the governor said, would be to log on to the website www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org to donate to Neighbors to the Rescue.
“As always, you can also help by donating to an established relief organization of your choice,” Scott noted. “As Floridians, we know how devastating severe weather can be, so it’s important that we remain prepared.”
Tropical Storm Isaac would eventually become a hurricane threatening the Gulf coast states, taking aim at Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for that area as Isaac passed over the Florida keys.
“We also have Floridians who are still recovering from Tropical Storm Debby,” Scott noted. “Your assistance will give much-needed help to our friends and neighbors in Florida who have sustained damages from these storms.”
Volunteer Florida is a part of the Statewide Emergency Response Team and the lead agency for coordinating volunteers and donations.
Florida’s Foundation is a nonprofit agency operating under the guidance of a voluntary advisory council, and can be reached by logging on to www.FloridasFoundation.org.
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